Vice-Admiral Vansittart was the 5th son of George Vansittart (1745-1825) of Bisham Abbey in Berkshire, who married, on 24th October 1767, Sarah, daughter of the Rev. Sir James Stonhouse, bart. He was born in George Street, Hanover Square, on 17th April 1777 and grew up in Bisham. General George Henry Vansittart, was his elder brother; Henry Vansittart, the Governor of Bengal, and Professor Robert Vansittart were his uncles; and Nicholas, 1st Baron Bexley, his first cousin. Having been entered on the books of the ‘Scipio’, guard-ship on the Medway, in October 1788, he was afterwards nominally in the ‘Boyne’, guard-ship on the Thames, and probably actually served in the ‘Pegasus’ on the Newfoundland station in 1791. In 1792, he was on the ‘Hannibal’, stationed in Plymouth, and, in 1793, went out to the Mediterranean on the ‘Princess Royal’, flagship of Rear-Admiral Goodall. During the Siege of Toulou by the Republican Army, he was severely wounded. After the evacuation of the place, he was moved into L'Aigle, with Captain Samuel Hood, served at the Siege of Calvi and was, in October 1794, moved onto the ‘Victory’, in which he returned to England. On 21st February 1795, he was promoted to be lieutenant of the ‘Stately’, in which be was present at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope, and of the Dutch squadron in Saldanha Bay. he was then moved onto the ‘Monarch’, Elphinstone's flagship, and returned in her to England. He was next appointed to the ‘Queen Charlotte’, Keith's flagship in the Channel; and, on 30th May 1798, was promoted to be commander of the ‘Hermes’. From her, he was moved to the ‘Bonetta’, which he took out to Jamaica; and, on 13th February 1801, he was posted to the ‘Abergavenny’, stationed at Port Royal. In the July, he returned to England in the ‘Thunderer’ and, after a few months on half-pay, was appointed, in April 1802, to the ‘Magicienne’ from which, in January 1803, he was moved, to the ‘Fortuned' of 36 guns. For upwards of nine years, he commanded this ship in the North Sea, off Boulogne, in the Channel, in the West Indies and in the Mediterranean, for the most part in active cruising and in convoy service. In August 1812, he was moved onto the 74-gun ship ‘Clarence’, till March 1814. With the exception of a few months in 1801-2, he had served continuously from 1791. He became a Rear-Admiral on 22nd July 1830, Vice-Admiral on 23rd November 1841 and died on 21st March 1843 at his seat, ‘Eastwood’ at Woodstock in Canada. He married, in 1809, Mary Charity (d. 1834), daughter of the Rev. John Pennefather, and was the father of five children including Vice-Admiral Edward Westby Vansittart.
Edited from Sidney Lee's 'Dictionary of National Biography' (1899)
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